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Djokovic finishes troubled year with ATP Finals title


Turin, Italy: Novak Djokovic said winning a record-equalling sixth ATP Tour Finals title on Sunday was a “deeply satisfying” ending to his troubled and truncated year.

The Serb beat Norwegian Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-3 in Turin to match Roger Federer’s record of six titles in the year-ending tournament for the top-ranked players. The 35-year-old Serb, the oldest player to win the Finals, ended in style after a season in which he missed two majors because of his vaccine status.

“It feels deeply satisfying and, at the same time, a huge relief because of the circumstances that I have been through this year, situations earlier this year, of course, with Australia,” he said.

“We don’t need to go back. We know what happened.”

“I don’t know what the future holds but I know that what I hold in my mind is a huge hunger still to win trophies,” said Djokovic.

The win in Turin, which also brings a cheque for $4.7 million, came seven years after his last ATP Finals victory and will lift him from eighth to fifth in Monday’s new rankings at the end of a season in which he also won Wimbledon. Carlos Alcaraz, who missed the finals injured, is number one. “In my mind I always see myself as the best player in the world, of course,” he said.

“I’m not. I’m fifth. This week I probably am. Overall the rankings are showing who had the best year, and Alcaraz is the No. 1 in the world.”

Djokovic and his wife brought his eight-year-old son and five-year-old daughter to Turin. “Extremely special for me,” he said. “I don’t get to have these moments on the tour with them so much.”

The American Rajeev Ram and Britain’s Joe Salisbury took the doubles title with a 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 win over the Croatian pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic. Ram and Salisbury lost in last year’s final to French pair Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herber. — AFP

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